Today, in this instalment of our property surveying blog, we are going to be taking an in-depth and focussed look at Access Licences.
We are going to be taking a deep dive into some of the more typical questions we find ourselves asked here at Stokemont on a daily basis!
Do I have to allow access onto my land?
No. Providing the construction works planned are development as opposed to maintenance, you do not have to legally agree to access onto your land.
Ultimately, it is your land and of your choosing how you intend to use it.
Access licences are in place to govern planned works that fall outside the realm of the Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992.
What happens if access is refused?
If access is refused, unfortunately there is nothing that the property owner planning on undertaking the construction works can do to force or facilitate it.
Access is very much at the agreement of the neighbouring owner and therefore, should they choose to not provide it, the works will need to be redesigned in such a way whereby access can be overcome.
It should also be worth noting the neighbouring owner does not need to give any reasoning for access refusal.
Can I charge rent for access?
Yes. As it is your land, you are entirely within your legal rights to charge rent or premium for the duration of the access.
This rent can be set at a figure of your choosing and doesn’t need to be based off any market conscious or valuation approach.
Rents can be paid in advance and worked out on a daily, weekly, monthly or even yearly rate.
Generally speaking, access rents will form part of an Access Licence and will be agreed between owners or, in failure of an agreement, between surveyors.
How long does the access last for?
Access periods will very much depend on the works that are taking place and the expected period of time that the contractor believes they will require.
Here at Stokemont we have dealt with Access Licences that are for as short as a day and for as long as 18 months.
Duration really just depends on the site layout and the access requirements.
It is important to note that Access Licences not only deal with access onto land, they also deal with access into air space.
Who pays for the Access Licence Surveyor’s costs?
The owner who intends to obtain the access is liable for the neighbouring owner’s surveyor’s professional input and fee.
It wouldn’t be reasonable for the neighbouring owner to have to bear their own cost for access that doesn’t benefit construction works that they are undertaking.
Access Licence fees can include, however are not limited to, surveyor input, valuation exercises, security provisions, engineering input, and insurance premiums.
If you have am access licence matter that you would like to discuss with our team of experienced and qualified surveyors here at Stokemont, please feel free to give us a call today, and we will be more than happy to assist and advise you.